Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Giving The Shape a Proper Childhood, or Thoughts on Rob Zombie’s Halloween

More of a prequel to Halloween (1978), Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake is set in his retro nostalgic vision of the ‘70’s, which means that the audience won’t have to listen to a hip-hop update of John Carpenter’s iconic theme.  Returning to Haddonfield Illinois, the movie is more focused on Michael Myer’s childhood and his mother Deborah, as portrayed by none other than Sheri Moon Zombie.
Child actor Daeg French, who would become Rob Zombie’s Jake Lloyd, plays the young psychopath obsessed with Halloween and also killing childhood pets and school bullies.   His clown costume is reminiscent of 6-year-old Will Sandin in the 1978 original, as well as Danielle Harris in Halloween 5 (1987), which is a nice coincidence considering she was cast as Annie Brackett in this remake.  Deborah’s pole dance scene to Love Hurts by Nazareth serves as one of Michael’s initial triggers to explain why he goes after all those teen lovebirds and William Forsythe, the sheriff from The Devil’s Rejects (2005) returns as Ronnie, Deborah’s unemployed loser boyfriend.
The first half of the movie is spent on his childhood and motivations before being transformed into a hulking long haired mute, a rock & roll Michael Myers in his signature William Shatner mask, as portrayed by Tyler Mane, Sabertooth from the first X-men (2000).  Scout Taylor-Compton, who would go on to play Lita Ford in The Runaways (2010) takes over as Laurie Strode, Malcom McDowell replaces Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis with Brad Grima Wormtongue Dourif as Sheriff Brackett.
You can always count on an over-abundance of cameos in a Rob Zombie movie, and Halloween (2007) includes Ken Foree, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Bill Moseley, and Sybil Danning.  There’s also a neat meta-reference to The Thing (1952), which is playing on the black and white cathode ray TV on Halloween night, just as it was playing in the 1978 original, while also paying homage to John Carpenter’s 1982 remake.
The original Michael Myers was an unexplained force of nature that completely redefined the horror genre, whether he was supernatural or an inhumanly strong psycho was irrelevant.  Rob Zombie’s Halloween explains so much, taking away the mystery and most of the horror in favor of what seems to be unnecessary exposition.  Just because we want to know more about Michael Myers doesn’t mean we need to, and by learning about his traumatic childhood and humanizing him he becomes less frightening.  The audience doesn’t need to see the behind the curtain to enjoy the show, but that wouldn’t stop Rob Zombie from making a sequel in 2009.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).